I currently use dolphin 17.04.3 and whenever I run it as sudo, it gives the following error Executing Dolphin as root is not possible. without explaining why or giving an alternative. So how can I run dolphin as root for copying or deleting files?

  • What version of Ubuntu are you using? – George Udosen Dec 29 '17 at 17:38
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    are you using wayland? by default wayland does not allow GUI programs to run as root. – ravery Dec 29 '17 at 17:42
  • doesn't work. the option to create or move files is simply greyed out in the context menu. Please check your version – Ankur S Dec 29 '17 at 17:51
  • I'm using ubuntu 17.10 and x11 with kde installed – Ankur S Dec 29 '17 at 17:56
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    "So how can I run dolphin as root for copying or deleting files?" Please re-evaluate this question. Use command line for admin tasks. It is there specifically for admin tasks. Graphical tools should not be used for admin tasks. Running graphical tools as admin has unseen side effects regarding permissions and as of late is deemed such that the developers actively block it. Do you really think it is a good idea to go against the people that know (or are supposed to know ;) ) exactly what a graphical files manipulation tool can and does? – Rinzwind Dec 29 '17 at 20:23


Dolphin 17.04

The Dolphin 17.04 or later has a check:

if uid == 0 then show the "Executing Dolphin as root is not possible." and exit.

A workaround

You could edit the sources and disable the check. Then the Dolphin will work as before.

Dolphin 18.08

Few review request

Dolphin 18.08.0 is using these changes and the Dolphin can be launched with the pkexec command as the administrative super user.


More: KDE Foruns - How to run Dolphin 18.08 as root with Kubuntu or KDE neon? - https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=224&t=153655

enter image description here


Earlier - KDE Forums - How to run Dolphin as root?: https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=224&t=141836

For the security reasons: Disallow executing Dolphin as root on Linux - https://cgit.kde.org/dolphin.git/commit/?id=0bdd8e0b0516555c6233fdc7901e9b417cf89

Disallow executing Dolphin as root on Linux Basically a copy of commit kate/9adcebd3c2e476c8a32e9b455cc99f46b0e12a7e which was written by Martin Grässlin

Disallow executing kate and kwrite as root on Linux: https://phabricator.kde.org/R40:9adcebd3c2e476c8a32e9b455cc99f46b0e12a7e

More tips

KDE Reddit - Dolphin root on KDE App 17.04 : https://www.reddit.com/r/kde/comments/6785b1/dolphin_root_on_kde_app_1704/

Bypass "Executing Dolphin as root is not possible" and Regain KDE Dolphin Root Privileges: https://www.reddit.com/r/kde/comments/6xs3mp/bypass_executing_dolphin_as_root_is_not_possible/


Polkit support in KIO: https://phabricator.kde.org/T6561

When it is ready the Dolphin will show the password query if needed. Now, with the patched Dolphin&KIO:

enter image description here


Not an answer, just a workaround for the purpose mentioned by the OP (copying or deleting files).

The idea is to

  1. install another file manger that doesn't have that limitation and that doesn't bring a lot of dependencies

  2. create an "Open as root" context menu in Dolphin for this other file manager.

The main file managers of other desktops can be used (Nautilus, Nemo, Caja, Thunar) but they do bring some dependencies. Even PCManFM and PCManFM-Qt do that. If you need one of those for some other purpose adding that one could be a good solution.

I have found that Krusader (which I think in the past used to be installed by default in some KDE systems) can be easily installed, brings no dependencies in Kubuntu 18.04, and can be used as root.

sudo apt install krusader

Under its Tools it has the "Root" option.

enter image description here

which asks for password in a gui.

To add a context menu in dolphin, create the folder ~/.local/share/kservices5/ServiceMenus and then do

kate ~/.local/share/kservices5/ServiceMenus/filemanager_root.desktop

and add

[Desktop Action root]
Exec=/usr/lib/kde4/libexec/kdesu krusader
Name=Open in Krusader file manger as administrator

[Desktop Entry]

For some reason kdesu krusader doesn't work, and I have used the solution from here.. What also works is konsole -e sudo krusader, but that shows the terminal instead of a gui for the password prompt.

Then, you'll see in Dolphin:

enter image description here

bringing a dialog

enter image description here

which is one that works..


I have made my own version based on the replies above. So, to add a context menu to open Dolphin as root follow these steps:

  • Create a file called for example DolphinAsRoot.desktop on the directory ~/.local/share/kservices5/ServiceMenus/
  • With a text editor put the following content on it:
[Desktop Entry]

[Desktop Action root]
Name=Open as administrator
  • If it still not appears on the context menu in Dolphin go to "Settings -> Configure Dolphin...-> Services" and activate the option you recently added. It should be there. If not, close Dolphin or even log out and in on your session.

That's all, I hope it helps you all like it helped me ;)

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